| April 30
April 30 An investor in Uber, the fast-growing
alternative taxi service, has reached out to a venture capital
firm about a potential new funding round that could value the
company at $1 billion or more, a person familiar with the
situation told Reuters.
Uber's chief executive, Travis Kalanick, said the company
was not currently raising money.
Uber allows customers to quickly find rides among for-hire
car services, such as limousines, by using an app on their
phone. It has proven popular in areas where cabs can be hard to
hail, such as its home base of San Francisco, and recently
gained approval to operate in New York.
If the company were to raise funds at $1 billion or more,
it would join an elite group of start-ups that have commanded
Kalanick said the company "has not raised funds or
approached a single investor about raising funds since our
Series B round in November 2011. Any reports to the contrary are
just completely untrue."
Uber, launched in 2010, has grown rapidly on word of mouth.
At the Disrupt NY technology conference on Monday, existing
investor Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital called Uber "probably
the fastest-growing company that we've ever had," saying Uber
was growing faster than eBay - another Benchmark
portfolio company - did in its early days.
Technology start-up companies sometimes informally gauge
interest in funding without launching a formal fundraising
process. The source told Reuters that an Uber investor, whom he
declined to identify, had been in touch in early April to gauge
interest in the possible new funding.
Uber is considered by many in Silicon Valley to be one of a
handful of companies with massive growth potential, and
investors have shown a willingness to pay a premium for such
Companies that have won valuations of more than $1 billion
recently include SurveyMonkey, recently valued at $1.35 billion;
online bulletin board Pinterest, recently valued at $2.5
billion; and payments company Square, recently valued at $3.25